Thursday, October 8, 2009


Since I'm slowly turning into my mother, it was only a matter of time until I acted just like her when shopping.
Since I'm a compulsive shopper, I somehow always think of something to go shopping for after my morning exercise class. This is my favorite way to waste the rest of my morning and put off chores and writing. And anyway, I have a coupon. Of course, I have many coupons from being every store's favorite customer. So I get to the store and shop. I have a goal: I have to hit $75 in order to validate the coupon. I end up buying some longish, fleece shorts for Skinny Stick Daughter in a size seven even though she's ten-years-old. Even though they're a size seven, I'm still not sure they're going to fit her, but if I go any smaller than a seven I'll end up in the toddler department.

I bring them home and she puts the first pair on. I look at her admiringly. They look fantastic! I'm aglow. Not only that, but after the coupon and the sale price and the incentives and the other markdowns, the store practically paid me to take them away! They cost $3.52 each! I'm kvelling at my genius and how gorgeous she looks in them!
Daughter, however, gives me a deadpan look. She touches the rhinestone accents gingerly, wrinkles up her nose, and says, "A Princess crown, Mom?" Like that's all she needs to say. I mean really. Don't I know that all that Princess stuff ended for her a long time ago? If it ever even started. She's more of a Tom boy/girl. She can't show her face at school with a crown on her clothes.

I'm crestfallen. "But they only cost $3.52 after the coupon! The purple pair cost $2.65!" But she's unmoved. She shakes her head. "No, Mom."

Of course, it's inevitable that I've turned into my own mother, the 1960s Jewish shopaholic. My mom's idea of a really good time was to load all seven of her daughters into her 1965 Chevy Nova and take us down to Turn Style, Skokie's version of Walmart.

The first thing she'd do once we walked in Turn Style was to steal all the Brach's Candies from the display. My mother didn't understand the idea that all this Brach's Candy was sitting there on a kiosk, unsecured, yet not free for the taking. To her if it wasn't behind a counter, that meant it was free. When she was done with that, we'd all fan out, the seven of us going off to different departments until we all reconvened at customer service hours later. One of us would have to skulk up to the counter and ask the customer service person to page mom since, invariably, we'd have lost her somewhere in the store.

If I found clothes I liked, I had to lope through all the aisles of the store searching for her in the vain hope that she would actually spend money on something that wasn't food or shelter. With five older sisters and one younger, and a mother who sewed, let's just say that new clothes wasn't exactly what we showed up at the Turn Styles register to buy. We showed up with fabric. And empty Brach's wrappers.

So, of course, my daughter doesn't know it, but she has it good. And, she doesn't know how appropriate that crown probably is.


  1. I will be your adopted daughter!! I love crowns...

  2. my mother had a small habit when i was a child of grabbing a few items from the brachs bin at safeway and eating them as she shopped. then she'd hand the pink and white bag to the clerk and say, "lean on the scale a little". mortifying. i love the post about your mother's scant appetite, too.

  3. Thanks, Amy. At least your mother tried to pay for the stuff!